With one last stab at having a warm, beach break on the east coast after a cool, wet summer we slipped down the narrow peninsula in Virginia that is isolated from the rest of the state by Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. We leapt across the mouth of the bay on the 23 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel – one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World – and on to the barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks of North Carolina (this is back in 2009 in our time machine).
In Cape Hatteras we received free full body exfoliation courtesy of sand blasting at the beach. Wrapping ourselves in our beach towel to stand with wind and sand stinging our legs, we admired the spectacular surf. A high tide with huge rollers was being pushed back by an offshore wind.
Breaking, crashing and frothing, the surf created spray rainbows. After watching several brollies turn themselves inside out and cartwheel down the beach, we abandoned the beach and sank into the dunes for protection from the wind. With no view of the ocean we persevered long enough to eat our gritty sandwiches.
We should have stayed in Puget Sound in Washington State on the west coast with their good view of Mt. Rainier. They had a wonderful summer.
This was prefaced by an evening of country music and line dancing in Rockyhock, North Carolina, after which we set off on an obscure route of roads so feint looking on the map that I knew an appointment with the optician was needed. I had pegged with my finger the junction where I should start looking – after a millimeter, maybe a mile – for a bridge. Jimmy drove and drove and drove. The bridge looked to be about three miles long on the map. Even I couldn’t miss that. But it didn’t materialize.
I was presented with a dilemma. Do I say something and set the scene for a possible “lost again!” scenario or just keep quiet and hope things will right themselves by magic. They sometimes do. I decided to voice my concerns without making it look like my fault.
“This doesn’t seem right. We should have come to a bridge by now.”
“You should have studied the map before we set off, shouldn’t you?”
Well that didn’t work did it?
“We can’t turn around here” he said, voicing his annoyance. We were on a narrow country road with deep ditches, possibly full of alligators, on either side.
I started to squirm and my sweaty palm wrinkled up the road atlas. As is usual in these circumstances we passed the next five minutes in silence.
“Oh, look. Route 94.”
“Nothing,” I replied hastily. I could see my mistake. How stupid. I held my breath and willed the bridge to appear. By magic. And it did.
About halfway along the lengthy stretch of bridge over the Albemarle Sound, a poor pancaked rabbit appeared on the roadway. “How did he get out here?” himself asked.
“He probably had someone like me navigating for him,” I retorted without contrition.
No thanks to me, but we hadn’t taken any wrong turns after all.